Why you should feel sorry for Facebook developers

What was your dream job growing up as a child? Professional sportsman? Pilot? Astronaut? These days, with multi-billion companies like Facebook stealing all the headlines, a lot of dream jobs will probably be slightly different.

Cool offices, great pay, flexible working hours, incredible gadgets... these are all benefits of being a Facebook employee.

Except, the incredible gadgets part may not be quite true, as it has emerged that Facebook forces a lot of its employees to use cheap, low-end phones.

The question as to why Facebook would do such a thing is surprisingly logical - the company is studying the computing conditions in parts of the world where people have limited access to the internet, and often can't afford high-end Android or iOS devices.

Developers have to try to use Facebook's apps on super-old versions of Android so they can understand what it's like for people in areas without good network connections.

"It’s easy to not have empathy for what the experience is for the majority of people in the world," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Time Magazine.

So, to deal with this, Facebook basically manufactures empathy in its employees.

"I force a lot of the guys to use low-end phones now," Javier Olivan, Facebook's head of growth, says. "You need to feel the pain."

That way, the social media giant can get a better insight on how to improve its business in those parts of the world, which correlates with Mark Zuckerbergs Internet.org initiative, which aims to bring internet access to every corner of the world.

Recently, Facebook released apps in Zambia and Tanzania, which allows users free access to services like Google Search, AccuWeather or Wikipedia.